The Character-type of the Public Servant

According to the ignorant way of thinking, public servants are of a specific different character-type, so one should be able to recognize them right away. What gives them away is not what they do as part of their occupation; it is their manners and expression on their face.

The rationale that dictates the way these people with the morality of ignorance act is the fact that they have a secure job and determined salary. Therefore, even if they make some special effort, they gain nothing in salary, position or respect. They think that, if they take on an extra task, they will have merely extended themselves out for nothing. In any case, in a society of ignorance, it is considered foolish for them to make any extra effort if there is someone else to do it. They do not care how they behave towards their clients, because they would regard as doing something extra.

For that reason, most public servants possessing the morality of ignorance show little concern for those around them. They do only what they are told, and if anything is asked of them beyond that, they either ignore it or pass it on to someone else. When someone asks them a question, they may not even look at the person, or they may look at them without answering, nod their head and continue what they were doing. They feel no qualms about treating people harshly. This aloofness of the public servants abiding by the moral values of ignorance is well known. They have no respect for others and, because they do not want to be bothered, they will keep people waiting in line for hours without an excuse, and wandering about the office. They see no reason to be considerate, polite or tolerant towards people. No matter how they behave, they will continue to receive the same salary. In any case, as far as they are concerned, they will never see those people again anyway. For this reason, they perform all their tasks methodically; speak little, hardly smile, think little, and just fulfill what is expected of them. However, one who abides by the moral commands of Allah would never behave this way. He or she takes an interest in everyone, and is always respectful and polite. They will do all they can to help a person in difficulty and, even if they cannot be of assistance at that time, they will at least be supportive to the individual.

Another character trait of the public servant is that he conforms to a stereotype; that is, he always behaves the same way, and his responses to things are always predictable. His every-day life, the people he speaks with, that which he talks about, his habits and tastes, are all according to this stereotype. He still dresses as he did when he was young, wearing the same hairstyle. He is narrow-minded and does not want to interfere with the status quo. He cannot be persuaded to take on new methods of doing things, even though they may be better. He persists in old-fashioned ways, though it wastes much time. Still, he will not abandon his old habits.

It can be seen from these explanations that majority of public servants possessing the morality of ignorance exhibit a laxness in character not only in their moral make-up but also in their social lives. As long as he sees nothing to gain, he will not alter his behavior. However, the job of a public servant is to serve the public. A public servant, who practices the morality of Islam, will serve those who come to him with respect. He will never cause them difficulty or waste their time. He knows that anything he does of good will not be for nothing. For him, his work is an act of worship, in which his intention is to earn Allah’s favor, by maintaining the best level of morality he can. All his good works are kept in a book in the Presence of Allah, to be opened on the Day of Judgment.

In the Qur’an, the Prophet Luqman (as) reminds his son of this truth:

My son, even if something weighs as little as a mustard-seed and is inside a rock or anywhere else in the heavens or Earth, Allah will bring it out. Allah is All-Pervading, All-Aware. (Surah Luqman, 16)

The following are other verses where Allah reminds us of the same:

Say: “Servants of Mine who believe! Fear your Lord. For those who do good in the world there is good and Allah’s earth is spacious. The steadfast will be paid their wages in full without any reckoning.” (Surat az-Zumar, 10)

... If anyone does a good action, We will increase the good of it for him. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Thankful.” (Surat ash-Shura, 23)

Not so! All who submit themselves completely to Allah and are good-doers will find their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Surat al-Baqara, 112)

Allah does not wrong anyone by so much as the smallest speck. And if there is a good deed Allah will multiply it and pay out an immense reward direct from Him. (Surat an-Nisa’, 40)

Those who produce a good action will receive ten like it. But those who produce a bad action will only be repaid with its equivalent and they will not be wronged. (Surat al-An‘am, 160)

Certainly, human beings will have to expend much effort to behave appropriately, but the reward they will receive, as we ought to understand from these verses, will be a life in this world, eternal Paradise and thus Allah’s good pleasure.

2012-01-21 02:55:42

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